Swedish post-black metal project Lustre’s new album The Ashes of Light features a sonically expressed, haunted walk through oppressively frigid yet invitingly shimmering soundscapes constructed via the persistent electronica that shines with a grimly forward procession throughout the piece. The main melodies hinge on these consistently present electronica elements, although the artist’s howling vocals reverberate at certain standout points, as do blistering guitar and drum segments that help the snowy feel of the music feel like it’s evolved into some kind of painful blizzard.
Lustre’s soundscapes ultimately feel very unique. While retaining the frigid, immersive harshness of roaring post-black metal, the artist places their vintage keyboards and analog synthesizers right at the forefront of the mix, and soft yet persistently surging melodies delivered via the frequently piercing tones of these instruments serve as the consistent backbone of much of the music, starting from track one. The key tones give the music a startlingly wistful feel, like the songs constitute the sonic encapsulation of a journey into an oppressive yet beautiful snow-covered expanse. Besides these pointed elements, the music also feels buried under an avalanche of hazy ambiance, as some of the more traditional elements of this style, including the drums, stick to the background.
The ferocity is in place — the vocals, for instance, are harsh howls — but startlingly, the artist has also captured a level of palpable beauty right in the midst of the mix, and the contrast makes for a strikingly formulated, emotionally immersive, experience.
The looping, haze-backed electronica melodies on track two are a bit more dramatic-feeling thanks to more rapidly shifting dynamics, and the range extends on from there. Track three, for instance, pairs forceful guitar and drum melodies with increasingly intricate electronica. The immersive, frigid, looping spirit of the substantively chilling keys covers all parts of the work. After some more dynamic shifting, track four gets into a kind of dramatic crescendo, as the slower piece surges over and over again. The melodies that Lustre shares on this album are poignant and immersive, and the music feels like the tangible rush of a run off into a palpable soundscape in which opportunity and danger both lurk.
Check out the music below! It’s available via Nordvis.